Review: The Dinosaur Lords by Victor Milán

The Dinosaur LordsSeries: The Dinosaur Lords #1
Published by: Tor
ISBN: 0765332965
ISBN 13: 9780765332967
Published: July 2015
Pages: 448
Format reviewed: eVersion from publisher
Site: Author Site
Goodreads: Book Page
Stars: Three out of Five
Related Reviews: The Dinosaur Knights (The Dinosaur Lords #2)

Set in a world that’s built like the late middle ages in Europe, we have a gritty world of battle and violence. As we see on the cover, men war on the backs of dinosaurs, and this provides the backbone of the world and character building. We have a storyline that’s deeply woven as if dinosaurs have existed all this time, and they are part of how they live in every way. We also have many lords, feuding their way back and forth across campaigns with a few surprises here and there… but they are revealed early, and offer an extra layer to what’s expected when you get immersed in this tale. As a hint, it’s something we also see in Stormlight Archives by Brandon Sanderson, however used a little better here, I think.

What we also have are angels – proper angels, who are grim and a ferocious sight to see (not all white-gold light and soft harp song). They are possible what helps make this series feel dark and epic because it feels so much more serious with their addition, and also that it’s not just some trivial skirmishes over a bit of land – this is serious business.

The characters, honestly? I could take or leave them. I didn’t feel the human aspect or draw to this story, and as I generally read for characters this is where it dropped down to three out of five stars, for me. I just didn’t care for the majority of the characters. I kept reading as I did love the world building, and I did love how the dinosaurs are woven into the story – used for labour but also loved by some. Who wouldn’t want a little pet-sized dinosaur to have around the home?

As ever, my main complaint is the lack of female characters. We have Melodía, a princess, who is an excellent character however I feel she is greatly underused and it was quite disappointing to get hefty sections of the other main characters, and not enough of her. This book has that deep game of Thrones vibe where everything is bloodshed for the good of the feuding empires, but that series does have a great deal more female characters in various levels throughout the extensive character lists – this, unfortunately, did not. However, it may be something that’s addressed in a later book…

This is a beautifully finished book with very gorgeous artwork, and I did love the little slices of info that start off each chapter. I feel they were used well, and added a careful extra layer of detail for this book to show that yes, a great amount of work has gone into this book. I just wish it had been able to catch my attention so much more.

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